July 31, 2013
Defendants Conspired to Report Bike Stolen and Collect Insurance Proceeds
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced the indictment of three members of a motorcycle club who are charged with insurance fraud committed to promote activities of a criminal gang, theft committed to promote activities of a criminal gang, and conspiracy.
“Our office continues to pursue insurance fraud to protect Nevada consumers,” says Masto.
- Michael Joseph Hughes, 40, of Las Vegas, aka “Tomahawk;”
- Steven Martin Shaw, 39, of Las Vegas, aka “Tank;” and
- Chad Gary Kruger, 46, of Henderson, aka “Half-Breed”.
Defendants Hughes, Shaw and Kruger are alleged in the indictment to have conspired to have a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle belonging to Hughes disappear so he could report it stolen. On October 24, 2012 Shaw and Kruger approached an undercover police officer and asked if he would be willing to help them conceal the motorcycle. When the officer agreed to help Shaw and Kruger drove the motorcycle to the undercover officer’s house on the night of October 25, 2012. Hughes reported the motorcycle stolen to Progressive Insurance Company that same night. When the vehicle was not recovered Hughes collected a settlement in the amount of $6,687.12 for the motorcycle. The three defendants conspired to commit the crime so that Hughes could purchase a Harley Davidson Motorcycle from Kruger. Hughes was looking to obtain an American made motorcycle so he could join the Motorcycle Gang Green Machine, which is a supporting organization for the Motorcycle Gang Vagos.
The indictments of the three defendants in this case come as a result of the investigation carried out by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) entitled “Operation Pure Luck,” named for an “unexpected opportunity” allowing local and federal agents to infiltrate the Vagos Motorcycle Club. Initiated in 2009 and first announced by LVMPD on June 26, 2013, the investigation has so far resulted in 32 individuals charged with crimes in Las Vegas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Texas and New York. In addition to his charges in this case, Hughes is also facing charges in Federal District Court for drug trafficking.
“It is vitally important to use every tool and law available when going after hardened and violent criminals,” said LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Greg McCurdy. “The work of the State Attorney General’s Office is one other key component in a unified effort by Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials to protect our citizens from these predators”.
This case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Brian Williams of the AG’s Insurance Fraud Unit.
Anyone who believes they know of insurance fraud being committed is encouraged to call 702-486-3420, or go the Nevada Attorney General’s Office website and fill out an insurance fraud complaint form.
|MICHAEL JOSEPH HUGHES
|| CHAD GARY KRUGER
|| STEVEN MARTIN SHAW
(Photos courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)